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Title : Hell's Kitchen.

Format : chapbook ; song

Composer : unknown

Production details : publisher : J. Marshall
Old Flesh Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear

Date : 1824 (circa)

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Collection name : Newcastle songster; being a choice collection of songs, descriptive of the language and manners of the common people of Newcastle upon Tyne and the neighbourhood. Part V.

 

Song describing the novelty value of a procession to an idle keelman in North Shields.

Song about a notorious public house in Newcastle.

One of a number of songs on public houses this song describes the characters and delights of the Newcastle drinking hole 'Hell's Kitchen'. Drinking was an extremely popular pass-time on Tyneside, with 28 breweries operating in Newcastle by 1830. Beer, more so than spirits, was the tipple of most inhabitants. Ales were sold at various prices and were named as such. Brewers such as James Stawpert and partner Thomas Spencer, owners of the Sun Brewery, specialised in drinks such as Eightpenny Ale and Table Beer which were sold in most local taverns and ale houses.

Similar to the cheap press of today these poorly printed books and broadsides catered for popular tastes, being sold by chapmen in the country and booksellers in the town. Usually sold for no more than a penny, the production of these little books and broadsides were extremely profitable for most printers. Sold in bulk the material required little proof-reading, was widely plagiarised, and badly printed.

Newcastle was the second largest producer of chapbooks in the country at the time of this book's publication. 'The Newcastle Songster' was printed by J. Marshall, one of the most prominent chapbook printers in Newcastle during the early nineteenth century. This book forms part V of the 'Songster' series and is perhaps easier to date than the preceding parts. Although it is not clear whether parts I and II of the 'Songster' were published before or after John Bell's 'Rhymes of the Northern Bards, 1812, references to 'Hackney cabs' in part V, which were not introduced into Newcastle until 1824, give some indication of the publication date.

The book contains some of the region's best known traditional songs. From the 'Keelmen's Stick' to 'Hell's Kitchen', the book has offerings from well known Tyneside composers such as William Oliver and would have been extremely popular among the local population.

 

Collection description : Popular Tyneside songs published in chapbook form.

First line:It's not of love, nor shady groves, nor beauty's self to tease ye

Subject heading : drinking

Keywords : drinking & public houses

Period : 1801-1840

Place : Newcastle upon Tyne

Height : 14 cm

Width : 8 cm

Held by : Newcastle University

Copyright : Item reproduced by kind permission of Newcastle University

 

t :: 0191 433 8430

f :: 0191 433 8424

e :: libraries@gateshead.gov.uk

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FARNE Folk Archive Resource North East